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Care home diabetes project improves outcomes for residents

Care home staff improved their knowledge and confidence in managing people living with diabetes in a project run in Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil.

A collaboration between the nutrition and dietetics department and the diabetes nursing team in Cwm Taf set up education sessions for care staff and checked the impact these had on residents with diabetes six months later.

Community diabetes specialist nurses and diabetes specialist dietitians have traditionally provided diabetes education sessions to care home staff on an ad hoc basis.

But a joint education service was developed that could be delivered within the care homes, as requests for support had been increasing.

Evaluation of the project found that most residents with poor glycaemic control and those who were obese improved six months after the education sessions.

Confidence of staff to support residents with their dietary management and to care for a resident with diabetes improved by 31% and 29% respectively.

Diabetes knowledge improved by 28% after education and 80% of staff intended to change their practice as a result.

The evaluation of the project was carried out by diabetes specialist dietitian Sarah Powell, with diabetes specialist nurses Nic Hewer and Vikki Page, pictured.

The research and findings will now be presented at the Diabetes UK Professional conference in Liverpool in March.

Fiona Wood, Senior Nurse Primary Care and Community Resource Team, said: “Sarah, Vicky and Nicola have worked incredibly hard to ensure the success of this project which not only resulted in enhanced knowledge and confidence among the care home workforce but has generated positive clinical outcomes for patient care.

“I’d like to thank the team for their outstanding contribution to this area of work. Their knowledge, skills and experience is a huge strength for the organisation, their colleagues and patients alike.

“Their dedication, commitment and professionalism is to be commended and I am delighted to see that this initiative will be showcased at this year’s Diabetes UK conference which builds on their successful presentation at the recent Cwm Taf UHB Research & Development conference.”